Northampton Saints: Lee Dickson replaces Dylan Hartley as captain

Lee Dickson and Dylan Hartley
Lee Dickson and Dylan Hartley have been team-mates since 2008

Northampton Saints have named Lee Dickson as the club's new captain, replacing England hooker Dylan Hartley.

Hartley was dropped from Stuart Lancaster's World Cup training squad after receiving a four-week ban for headbutting Saracens' Jamie George during May's Premiership semi-final.

It was the fifth suspension the 29-year-old had been given in three years.

England scrum-half Dickson, 30, has made 203 appearances for Saints since joining in 2008.

Dickson, who has been capped 18 times by England, was part of the Saints team who won the Premiership title in 2014 and finished as Heineken Cup runners-up in 2011.

"Lee has been a key part not only of the team, but also our leadership group at the Gardens for a number of years," Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder told the club website.external-link

"He has captained the side well in the past and is a player with a huge amount of big-game experience both for club and country.

"He takes over from Dylan, who has been a superb captain for the past six seasons - the most successful period in the club's history. He will remain one of many leaders in the team and provide crucial support for Lee from both a playing and day to day perspective."

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